I need help in filling in the Centrelink form (Means Test form)
The form is complicated & filled with traps & pitfalls especially for those who are or could be Supported residents. At first reading the form also seems to repeat itself, but once you understand the form, what appears to be the same question is subtly different.
At Balance Aged Care Specialists we have helped over 12,000 people move into aged care, & we know that this form should be filled in to meet your agenda, not the aged care facilities agenda or the Social Workers agenda (if you are in hospital). The job of a Social worker or discharge Planner is to get you out of hospital once the hospital is no longer able to improve your situation. The job of the admissions person in aged care is to fill beds as quickly as possible. Usually they require the Centrelink form to be filled in quickly to achieve their own objectives. The problem with this is that for some people once the form has been completed & sent to Centrelink, the result cannot be changed. Ie if you are assessed as being an Unsupported resident, you are required to pay the Accommodation payment in Full, whereas it MAY be possible to make a few small changes that could enable you to be a Supported resident, which could save you thousands of dollars a year. However, once it is done is done.
We had a client recently who was assessed as being Unsupported, therefore was required to pay the full Accommodation Payment ($550,000) which she did not have, & so initially elected to pay the Accommodation Payment as a DAP (ie interest charged on $550K), the elderly woman’s disabled son still lived in the home (but he did not meet the criteria to be a “protected person”) consequently she had a cash flow shortfall of approximately $38,000pa, clearly this was not sustainable, so the home was sold, to pay the Accommodation Payment as a RAD (Lump Sum). Due to the surplus funds after paying the RAD, her pension was reduced significantly, & she was charged a bigger Means Tested Fee & still had a cash flow shortfall of around $20,000pa. However had the woman been given the chance to get some aged care planning, it would have been easy to make her disabled son a protected resident, therefore she could have been a Supported resident & would not have had to pay anything for her Accommodation, she would not have had to sell the home & her disabled son would not have been dislodged from his home, & she would have not had a cash flow shortfall at all saving her $38,000pa. However due to the social workers desire to get her out of hospital advised her that she HAD to complete the Centrelink form quickly & even helped her fill it out.
Unfortunately, we did not meet her until after the home was sold, & so it was too late, you can’t unscramble an egg. However, this could have been avoided, had the lady filled in the Centrelink form to meet her agenda not the social workers agenda,